Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Is Stress Contagious?

Feeling stressed? It could be contagious, according to research published in Nature Neuroscience. A new study found that you can pass tension to someone else – even a stranger – and without even knowing it.

“Recent studies indicate that stress and emotions can be ‘contagious,’ ” Jaideep Bains, a physiology professor at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, wrote in a press release. “Whether this has lasting consequences for the brain is not known.”

Although this was a mouse study, researchers believe these findings are also relevant in humans. “We readily communicate our stress to others, sometimes without even knowing it,” Bain says. “There is even evidence that some symptoms of stress can persist in family and loved ones of individuals who suffer from PTSD.”

What is stress? The American Institute of Stress defines it as “an emotional and/or physical response your body has to situations or change that make you feel uncomfortable or anxious” – and it’s different for everyone.

Those of us in the recovery world likely know that stress is a pretty well-know relapse trigger. What's more, chronic stress can lead to a host of health conditions, including high blood pressure, sleep disturbances, headaches and mood swings. It can also impact your relationships and productivity in the workplace. 

Being mindful of your own stress and how you feel around others who tend to be “stressed out” a lot is a great first step in taming tensions. The following anxiety-reduction techniques can help, too. Bonus: they'll also strengthen your recovery.
  • Regular exercise 
  • Stretching and breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Spending time in nature
  • Journaling
Get Nurtured in Nature
Our Southern California location is blessed with mild temperatures and abundant sunshine, making it the perfect place for outdoor recreation as part of your stress management and recovery activities. To learn more about our sober living services, activities and amenities, call today: 888-551-4715.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

A big part of staying mentally healthy and preventing relapse is being able to take a good honest look at your relationships. After all, surrounding yourself with people who support you and make you a better you will only serve to help your lasting sobriety. 

Abuse can take many different forms, including emotional abuse, and the signs aren't always easy to spot. This is why it’s important to take a step back and consider any red flags that may mean it’s time to walk away. 

According to the National Domestic Violence hotline, you may be in an emotionally/verbally abusive relationship if you partner exerts control through:
  • Calling you names, insulting you or continually criticizing you
  • Refusing to trust you and acting jealous or possessive
  • Trying to isolate you from family or friends
  • Monitoring where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
  • Demanding to know where you are every minute
  • Trapping you in your home or preventing you from leaving
  • Punishing you by withholding affection
  • Threatening to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets
  • Humiliating you in any way
  • Blaming you for the abuse
  • Gaslighting
  • Accusing you of cheating and being often jealous of your outside relationships
  • Serially cheating on you and then blaming you for his or her behavior
  • Cheating on you intentionally to hurt you and then threatening to cheat again
  • Cheating to prove that they are more desired, worthy, etc. than you are
  • Attempting to control your appearance: what you wear, how much/little makeup you wear, etc.
  • Telling you that you will never find anyone better, or that you are lucky to be with a person like them
Let Our Mentors Guide You
Even with the recovery skills you’ve gained, you may feel uneasy when it comes to relationships. One of the advantages of sober living at HAUS is having fellow residents and a wonderful support team to help you stay clean and respect yourself while you transition from treatment to “normal life.” To learn more about our mentoring services, call today: 888-551-4715.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Self-Care Tips to Try This Valentine's Day

We’ve talked about how self-care is key to lasting sobriety and Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to put it to the test. 

Let’s start by defining self-care. Here’s a good definition from “At its most basic definition, self-care is any intentional action taken to meet an individual’s physical, mental, spiritual or emotional needs. In short, it’s the little ways we take care of ourselves to avoid a breakdown in those respective areas of health.”

So with this in mind, what are some simple steps you can take to nurture yourself on Valentine’s Day and everyday? Here are a few ideas to get you started: 
  • Go for a long walk or hike and pop in some headphones and listen to your favorite tunes.
  • Create a piece of artwork — color, draw, paint, cut and paste, whatever helps spark your creativity.
  • Make yourself a proper meal – whether a hearty breakfast, warm lunch or well-rounded dinner with fresh ingredients. 
  • Tame negative self-talk by telling yourself something encouraging like “I’m doing my best today.” Or, take it a step further and post the affirmation where you’ll see it every day. 
  • Listen to a podcast about something that interests you or that you want to learn more about.
  • Attend a support group meeting and share – or just listen. 
  • Give yourself a giggle by watching your favorite movie or meeting up with a friend who always tickles your funny bone.
  • Carve out some quiet time – to just relax and reflect, mediate or get lost in a good book. Or dim the lights, lie on the floor and just breathe.
  • Check in with yourself emotionally – how do you feel? Are any negative thoughts interfering with your growth and recovery?
  • Do something nice for someone else – with no strings attached. 
A Healthier Lifestyle With Deeper Purpose
At Haus Recovery, we help our clients stay focused, maintain a positive attitude and care for themselves in order to attain their full recovery potential. To learn more about our services and activities, call us today: 888-551-4715.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Do You Need a Mental Health Day?

A big part of staying on the sober path is paying attention to your emotional well-being and realizing when it needs a little extra TLC. Taking a day to unwind, de-stress and refocus will help you stay mentally strong and prevent relapse.

But how do you know when it’s time to slow down and mentally recharge? Here’s help: These warning signs should prompt you to slow down and take a day to mentally recharge. Spend some time with loved ones, engage in relaxing activities like yoga or meditation, explore nature or just sleep in and enjoy a leisurely breakfast – whatever helps reduce anxiety and recharge your mental reserves. 
  • You’re tossing and turning. A change in sleep is a surefire sign that your mind and body is in overdrive and needs a little extra attention. What’s worse, if you ignore sleep troubles you can get stuck in a vicious cycle in which lack of sleep increases your stress and your stress makes it harder to sleep. 
  • You’re irritable and cranky. Do you feel irritable all day but there’ s really nothing in particular you’re angry about? Are you “snippy” with loved ones, friends and coworkers? This could be due to the fact that your nerves are fired and up and you’re mentally shorting out. And it’s likely worse if you’re not sleeping well. Taking a day away from it all (curl up with a good book or catch up on your favorite Netlfix series) could be just the anecdote to ease your mood. 
  • You’re achy and feel muscle tension. These are signs that your body is carrying stress and needs a break. But this doesn’t mean you need to take a day off to lie on the couch. In fact, you’ll feel better if you spend the day moving your body in a gentle but exhilarating way. Try a brisk walk or yoga class. 
  • You’re always getting sick. Reoccurring colds or digestive ailments may be your body telling you to slow down. Chronic stress, after all, can make you sick. Some experts claim that stress is responsible for as much as 90% of all illnesses and diseases. Stay home for a day and focus on a few relaxation strategies (meditation or guided imagery, for instance) to boost your mental health and your immune system.
Relapse Prevention at Haus Recovery
When the stresses of life overwhelm you, it’s easy to turn to your drug of choice in order to escape. Keeping relapse at bay is about cementing new habits and remaining accountable to the recovery support system – and we’re here to help. To learn more about our recovery residences, call today: 888-551-4725.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Tips to Develop a More Positive Mindset

Optimism is a pretty powerful tool for lasting sobriety. Having a positive mindset has been found to benefit your physical health – lower blood pressure, reduced risk for heart disease, healthier weight, better blood sugar levels and longer life.

And it plays a big role in your mental health as well. In fact, being able to hold onto positive emotions and appreciate the good times is one sign of emotional health. In general, people who are emotionally well have fewer negative emotions and are able to bounce back from difficulties faster. They’re also more open to new ideas and personal growth. 

Certainly, we can all use a bit more resilience and open-mindedness when it comes to navigating the natural ups and downs of addiction recovery. 

That said, having a positive outlook doesn’t mean that you’ll never feel negative emotions, such as sadness or anger, Dr. Barbara L. Fredrickson, a psychologist and expert on emotional wellness at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, told the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “The key seems to be finding a balance between the two.” 

5 Ways to Enhance Emotional Wellness

Being positive may take a bit of practice. These tips from NIH can help: 
  1. Forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, so learn from what went wrong and try not to dwell on it.
  2. Explore the meaning and purpose of life. Take time to think about how what's important to you and try to guide your life by those principles.
  3. Practice healthy habits. Make good nutrition, physical activity, and regular sleep a priority for your physical and mental health.
  4. Spend time with friends. Be choosy about your supports and go out of your way to surround yourself with positive, healthy people.
  5. Remember good deeds. Allow yourself to take credit for the good things you do for others each day.
Help Yourself and Others at Haus Recovery
During your stay at the HAUS, we hope you take advantage of the mentorship offered, and in turn, benefit fellow residents with your personal recovery insights. In time, everyone grows in strength and empowerment as they share both doubts and successes. To learn more about our mentoring services, call today: 888-551-4715.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tips for a Fun and Sober New Year's Eve

For those of us who are sober, New Year’s Eve can be a slippery slope into relapse. The best solution, even if you have some recovery time under your belt, is to celebrate away from toxic environments filled with alcohol or drugs. 

Making plans now for a sober New Year’s Eve will help you avoid temptation and/or triggers, so you're sure to ring in the New Year the right way. 

Here are some fun, sober ideas to consider:
  • Go to a meeting marathon. Many local chapters of AA and NA hold meeting marathons on New Year’s Eve to help you strengthen your recovery during this tough time of year.
  • Sign up for a midnight race. You can even organize one of your own; an invigorating run around town is the perfect way to ring in the New Year. 
  • Gather some sober friends for a nice dinner out on the town. Call ahead to make sure that you’re not served a “complementary” champagne or brought out a wine list. 
  • Laugh in the New Year by going to a local comedy club. Again, you may need to call ahead so you’re not tempted with alcohol. 
  • Arrange an ice skating party with a few recovery peers.
  • Host a fun game night with some festive appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Take a weekend get-away with a sober loved one. Use this time to relax and reflect upon your recovery.
  • Give yourself a spa night and go to sleep early – even before the ball drops if that’s what your body craves.
  • Have a movie marathon accompanied with some popcorn and hot chocolate.
No matter what you choose to do, be prepared. If you plan to spend New Year’s in a place where alcohol is being served, for example, make sure to have a support system in place and to devise an exit strategy if you become uncomfortable.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and sober 2018! 

Preventing Relapse All Season 
A relapse only requires a moment of weakness; when the stresses of life overwhelm you, it’s easy to turn to your drug of choice in order to escape. Keeping relapse at bay is about cementing new habits and remaining accountable to the recovery support system – and we’re here to help. To learn more about our recovery residences, call today: 888-551-4725.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Winter Sober Fun in Santa Monica

There’s so much to experience in Santa Monica during the holiday season – and being sober is just part of the fun. Here are just a few fun activities to add to your winter to-do list. 
  • Go to the beach. While you won’t want to venture into the freezing water, you certainly can dive into a good book. Throw on a sweatshirt, pack a blanket and pick a spot to relax on the beach with an inspirational read.  
  • Lace up your ice skates. Every holiday season, Santa Monica transforms the corner of 5th Street and Arizona Avenue into a 8,000 square foot ice rink – perfect for getting a taste of winter without the frostbite. In fact, there are a handful of outdoor rinks in the LA-area that stay frozen through January and February. 
  • Take a hike. It’s the perfect season to climb into the hills – with no crowds and clear crystal skies. Just remember to dress in layers and be sure to take into account the fleeting daylight before setting out on your hike. 
  • Get your soup on. There’s nothing better than a bowl of ramen – or udon or miso or pho – to warm your bones on those 50 degree days. Call up a friend and head to Little Tokyo or Sawtelle. 
  • Visit Santa. You’re never too old for a photo with Saint Nick. Head to Center Plaza at Santa Monica Place and feel like a kid again as you visit his winter home. 
  • Schedule a spa day. The holidays are filled with stress and a little relaxation and rejuvenation is likely in order. Check your local area for any holiday spa specials and give yourself the gift of self-care this season.
More Sober Living Activities
At Haus Recovery, we whole-heartedly believe that sustained recovery should incorporate daily fun. To this end, we organize group activities and outings every week. To learn more, call today: 888-551-4715.